Jeremiah – Chapter 16


This section portrays the coming day of disaster. It shows Jeremiah’s loneliness. He is a social outcast because of his harsh message. He can’t marry, have children, or take part in any funerals or festivals.

Verse 1 – The word of the Lord also came to me saying,

Verse 2 – “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place.”

Verse 3 – For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bore them and their fathers who begot them in the land:

Verse 4 – “They shall die gruesome deaths; they shall not be lamented nor shall they be buried, but they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. They shall be consumed by the sword and famine, and their corps shall be meat for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth.”

We might think that was harsh of God to not let Jeremiah marry, but God didn’t want Jeremiah to go through the heartache of seeing his children die by the sword or starve to death. Jeremiah’s concentration and devotion had to stay on God’s message to Judah to turn the nation back to Him. Sometimes our destiny that God has is much bigger than what we want.

Verse 5 – For thus says the Lord: “Do not enter the house of the mourning, nor go to lament or bemoan them; for I have taken away My peace from this people,” says the Lord, “lovingkindness and mercies.

Jeremiah was God’s spoke-person, so God didn’t want Jeremiah showing any kind of mercy towards their dead. God would not show them any comfort.

Verse 6 – “Both the great and small shall die in this land. They shall not be buried; neither shall men lament for them, cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them.

Cutting themselves and shaving their heads were pagan customs and Israel was forbidden to do these things.

Verse 7 – “Nor shall men break bread in mourning for them, to comfort them from the dead; nor shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or their mother.

Verse 8 – “Also you shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and drink.”

As we do today, when someone dies, we take food to their homes, but God said don’t do it.

Verse 9 – For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will cause to cease from this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.

God was taking away anything that would cause a joyous celebration, and yet the people still ignored Him.

Verse 10 – “And it shall be, when you show this people all these words, and they say to you, “Why has the Lord pronounced all this great disaster against us? Or what is our iniquity? Or what is our sin that we have committed against the Lord God?’

Verse 11 – “then you shall say to them, ‘Because your fathers have forsaken Me,’ says the Lord; ‘they have walked after other gods and have served them and worshiped them, and have forsaken Me and not kept My law.

Verse 12 – ‘And you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, each one walks according to the imagination of his own evil heart, so that no one listens to Me.

Verse 13 – ‘Therefore I will cast you out of this land into a land that you do not know neither you nor your fathers; and there you shall serve other gods day and night, where I will not show you favor.’

The people of Judah had chosen pagan gods over the True God, so God was going to let them have what they wanted, only it would be in a strange land, captive to a people they didn’t know.

When you kick hard enough against God, He will give you what you want. Then you will suffer the consequences of not obeying what God truly wanted for you.

Verse 14 – “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from he land of Egypt,’

Verse 15 – “but, “The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from he land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them. ‘For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.

Verse 16 – “Behold, I will send for many fishermen,” says the Lord, “and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.

The enemies whom God used to come against the Jews, will be hunted out of every hiding place.

Verse 17 – “For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes.

No sin is hidden from God. We do things and hope no one knows, but there is a God in heaven who sees it all!

Verse 18 – “And first I will repay double for their iniquity and their sin, because they have defiled My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable idols.”

Before the Israelites return from exile, they will be punished severely. They defiled the land God gave them with idols to worship.

Verse 19 – O Lord, my strength and my fortress, My refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness and unprofitable things.”

This may be a prediction of the calling of the Gentiles by the gospel of Christ.

Verse 20 – Will a man make gods for himself, which are not gods?

Verse 21 – “Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them know My hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is the Lord.

Since the Israelites refused to know God by His mercy, they would know Him by His wrath, that He is all mighty and all-powerful.

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